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Bushfires Australia

2020 has been a rough year so far dealing with fires in the amazon, the Covid-19 pandemic, the death of George Floyd, the fires and floods in Australia not to mention the issues that don't make it to the media. With so much going on in a short time it can be very overwhelming for some. It's important to keep in touch with all issues not just with what's most recent and is on TV.

Australia is no stranger to bushfires however, from June, 2019 to March, 2020 dangerous and severe bushfires burnt approximately 46.03 MILLION acres of Australian Land. Our country saw thousands of fires nation wide scorching 5,900 buildings and 2,779 of those were peoples homes. These fires have been one of the most devastating disasters in Australian History that ended up killing 34 people and an estimated additional 445 deaths & over 4,000 hospitalisations linked to the smoke caused by the deadly fires.

Although all fires have been put out whether it was due to the brave firefighters risking their lives or the floods that hit Australia in March, the devastating impact continues on. Over 5,000 Australians became homeless due to the 2019/20 fires and 26% of Australian businesses were affected in some way. 

Australian wildlife has been affected more than anything else with an estimation of over 1 BILLION animals believed dead in Australia. This includes several endangered species that are now facing a larger risk of extinction. Approximately one third of the Koala populations was killed who are vulnerable to extinction. Not to mention the enormous loss of natural habitat that will have significant impact on recovery.

Where You Can Donate 

 

Australian Red Cross Disaster Recovery And Relief

The Red Cross supports a variety of efforts, such as helping people at evacuation centres and providing emergency assistance like cash grants to people who have lost their homes.

You Can Donate HERE

 

Salvation Army Disaster Appeal

Salvation Army team members are providing meals to first-line responders and evacuees and offering other support.

You Can Donate HERE

 

St Vincent De Paul Society Bushfire Appeal

Vinnies' bushfire appeal helps provide food, clothing, and money that bushfire victims may need to pay their bills.

You Can Donate HERE

 

NSW Rural Fire Service

You can donate straight to the fire service or to your local Rural Fire Brigade to support volunteer firefighters.

You Can Donate HERE

 

Victoria Country Fire Authority Bushfire Disaster Appeal

Like with the Rural Fire Service, you can donate to a specific brigade or provide a general donation.

You Can Donate HERE

 

Victorian Bushfire Appeal

The Victorian government teamed up with the Salvation Army and Bendigo Bank for the appeal, saying that all funds go to communities in need.

You Can Donate HERE

 

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, and National Parks and Wildlife Service crew leaders, have spent weeks searching for koalas following the devastating bush fires in the Port Macquarie area.

You Can Donate HERE

 

Animals Australia

They are providing support to expert wildlife vets to travel to fire-devastated areas - where they are helping any surviving animals, and ensuring local wildlife carers have the support and resources they need.

You Can Donate HERE

 

Helping Through Facebook

Facebook is a great way to connect to your community and people in need. You can find your community groups on Facebook by typing the name of your suburb followed by “community” in your search bar. This is a great way to offer assistance straight to the people in need. You can post in the group page any sort of assistance you can offer or donations you can give so bushfire victims can get in contact with you. This could include helping the effected rebuild, clean up, help in seeking financial assistance and especially in just being there for people that have experienced trauma. You would be surprised how much it helps just to know someone is there for them that cares.

Help Without Money

Due to the late Covid-19 a lot of Australians have a reduced disposable income, but there are still many ways for us to help out. You can start by donating any unwanted clothes, non perishable foods, toys, ect to families that have lost their homes. Although due to the large number of donations most organisations aren't looking for these sorts of contributions, what you can do is ask around in your community to find those that have been effected as there are so many the organisations might not had the chance to help them all yet. 

You can also donate your time instead as it is needed just as much as your financial donations. Below are a list of some organisations you might be able to volunteer at...

  • Pre-register to volunteer on the Centre for Volunteering’s Emergency Volunteering Website
  • Register directly with disaster relief organisations via their websites. Disaster relief organisations will contact you directly if and when you are needed. 
  • Volunteer with the Red Cross Bushfire response and recovery teams. You can register your interest to volunteer and to be deployed as and where needed when it is appropriate and safe to do so.
  • Register your interest directly with your local fire brigade
  • Express your interest at wildlife caring facilities near you.

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    Preventions

    We are probably never going to be able to STOP bushfires from happening in Australia but we can do our part to minimise the negative impact they may have. It is important when having a camp fire or bonfire at home to make sure you have a water hose connected and nearby. Make sure you notify your local fire brigade of your intended fire and check that you have the proper approval. Make sure you stay in the loop for fire bans and restrictions that may in-place.

    You can also reduce the fire risk around your home by clearing out anything that could fuel a fire.

    Things you can do to help include:

    • regularly mowing the grass and raking up leaves
    • removing weeds and pruning bushes and trees
    • keeping garden beds moist through mulching or other non-flammable ground covers like pebbles
    • regularly clearing leaves from gutters, roofs, downpipes and around the base of trees
    • maintaining a well-watered lawn (complying with water restrictions)
    • storing flammable or combustible materials such as woodpiles and rubbish away from your house

    You can further prepare by:

    • ensuring that your garden hoses are long enough to reach all areas of your property
    • making sure that any fire hydrants near your home are accessible and unobstructed
    • creating a personal protection kit (goggles, gloves, hat, boots and cotton trousers and long sleeved shirt)
    • storing mops and buckets together

    Mental Health

    2020 has been a tough year for everybody so far and an event like this can have a huge effect on our mental health. Even if you consider yourself strong or independent it is never not okay to seek help from others, whether it be a therapist, your family/friends, ect. It is also important for you to check up on your friends or family but generally anyone you think might need some help even if you don't know them well. We are all in this together and it is important we stick together! Below are multiple links that have been compiled to help mental health during these times.

     

    HelpLine Directory                                                        BetterHelp                                   Mental Health Resources

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